A family with two young children is left with little but the clothes they were wearing when their half of an East Wheeling duplex went up in flames Friday morning.
Firefighters were dispatched at 10:57 a.m. to the house, located at 173 Lane 15, which is an alley between 17th and 18th streets. Jodi Boissy, who was home when the blaze started, said she was running the vacuum cleaner when she heard a "pop," soon followed by the odor of burning wires.
She went back into the living room to find the wall behind her television engulfed in flames, she said. She was able to get herself and her 1-month-old daughter out of the burning building, but she saved nothing else, as flames spread rapidly throughout the home.
Photos by Ian Hicks
Wheeling Assistant Fire Chief Larry Murphy surveys the area in front of this home on Lane 15 in East Wheeling that was gutted by fire Friday morning.
Boissy said she thought about trying to rescue some of their belongings, but quickly realized it would be impossible.
"As soon as you opened the door it was like you were getting smacked in the face with smoke. ... We lost everything. ... You look in the house and it's all ashes," she said.
She said her 20-month-old son was with his father and not home when the fire started. The family will be able to stay with a relative who lives in the area for now, Boissy said.
Wheeling Assistant Fire Chief Larry Murphy said the fire did not spread to the other half of the duplex. Though some smoke got inside, he didn't believe it sustained significant damage.
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation, Murphy said.